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Paris Is Burning 0 H. Peters Paris Is Burning Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed: Livingston, J. (Producer), Livingston, J. (Director). (1991). Paris is burning [Motion picture]. United States: Academy Entertainment, Off White Productions. Reviewer: Harvey Peters Genre: Documentary Suggested Age Range: Everyone Subject Headings: LGBT Issues, Multicultural/Cross-Cultural Issues, Poverty: Urban, Racial/Ethnic Identity, Sexuality, Social Justice Review: Paris Is Burning is a documentary which was filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s. This film chronicled New York City’s ball culture, which is an underground queer community competition where people walk (i.e., compete) for prizes, trophies, and recognition. The balls were developed in an underground queer culture mainly comprised of multiple marginalized intersecting social locations, such as affectional/sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, and socioeconomic class. Thus, the documentary showcased a subgroup within the queer community. In documenting the lives, narratives, and culture represented within the queer ball scene, the documentary highlighted the unique language, practices, relationships, and culture, which has more recently been integrated and appropriated by queer and heterosexual culture. This documentary can be utilized in many master’s or doctoral level counseling courses or topics, such as multiculturalism, social justice, family systems, and clinical supervision. The documentary focused on the intersections of multiple social locations, which exposes counselors to a community that has many strengths, resiliencies, unique qualities, and oppressed experiences. Thus, the documentary can be used to engage in dialogue, expose students to a new culture and concepts, and highlight the importance of intersectionality. However, it is crucial that the instructor or classroom facilitator engage in critical and responsive dialogue, as well as processing the experiences and learning points of their students. Given the richness and complexity of the documentary, it would be important to consult, further research, and provide resources before using this documentary in a classroom or lecture.
by H. Peters
Monday, February 4, 2019
​One Day at a Time 0 A. Reyes One Day at a Time Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed: Lear, N. (Producer). (2017). One day at a time [Television series]. Los Angeles, California: Sony Pictures Studio. Reviewer: Ana Reyes Genre: Comedy Movies/TV Shows: TV Show Suggested Age Range: Teens/Adults Only Subject Headings: Depression, Family Dynamics, LGBT Issues, Grief & Loss, Military, Multicultural/Cross-Cultural Issues, Relationships, Sexuality Review: This Netflix-original series highlights the experiences of a multi-generational Cuban-American family living in the same household. The main character, Penelope, is a working Army veteran raising two children with assistance from her mother. The grandmother, Lydia, is a traditional Cuban matriarch caring for her daughter and grandchildren. Alex is the youngest child exploring his cultural heritage and family’s immigration story. The oldest child, Elena, is a straight A student who is exploring her sexuality. As she prepares for her sweet sixteen, she confirms her sexual identity to her brother and comes out as a lesbian to her grandmother, mother, and father. The show’s development reveals the mother and grandmother’s process of acceptance and greater awareness of sexuality and lesbian sexual identity. This series provides counselors with an opportunity to witness and experience the dimensional experiences of multi-generational Latinx families living in the United States (U.S.). The gender neutral term Latinx is often used when referring to individuals of Latin American descent. The series also highlights some of the most salient experiences of Latinx families, such as acculturation, language(s) barriers, immigration issues, sexual identity, and generational differences. This series encourages counselors to engage in critical thought regarding family systems and how each member of the family is experiencing the sociopolitical context of the U.S. while identifying possible clinical implications and resources. Counselor educators could use some video clips from this series in multicultural counseling courses to discuss the interplay of the intersectionality of various identities.
by A. Reyes
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Hidden Figures 0 K. Bledsoe Hidden Figures Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed: Gigliotti, D., Chernin, P., Topping, J., Williams, P. (Producers), & Melfi, T. (Director). (2016). Hidden figures [Motion Picture]. United States: 20th Century Fox. Reviewer: Kenya Bledsoe Genre: Drama Movies/TV Shows: Movie Suggested Age Range: Parental Guidance Subject Headings: Career, Female Lifespan Development, Multicultural/Cross-Cultural Issues, Racial/Ethnic Identity, Racial/Ethnic Politics, Social Justice, Trauma Review: The implementation of expressive techniques in counseling (e.g., cinema, music, art) have been instrumental to the counseling profession, positively impacting counselors and the quality of work with their clients by positioning them to broaden their perspectives and obtain and deeper understanding of life altering experiences (Bradley, Whiting, & Hendricks, 2008). Hidden Figures is an inspirational, biographical film that highlights three African American mathematicians, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, and their invaluable contributions to NASA during the early years of the United States’ space program while intensely preparing for John Glen’s historic launch into orbit. These three women, like so many African American women, encountered extreme racism, segregation, discrimination, and sexism. This film provides a vivid depiction of social injustices for African Americans and women in the 1960s. Fortunately, these courageous and determined women would not be dismayed, choosing to persevere despite demeaning work conditions, as well as adversity across the nation. These three women chose to remain focused on their career aspirations and goals, drawing strength and support from their families and friendship with one another. In the November 2016 issue of Counseling Today, Dr. Catherine Roland urged counselors to re-evaluate, accept, and activate our resilience as human beings. Thus, the author encourages counselors to inspire their clients to do the same. Counselors can assist clients with recognizing their unique, personal attributes and so they can tap into the necessary grit needed to overcome adverse situations and pursue personal and professional goals and aspirations. Movies like Hidden Figures can also inspire clients to push past discrimination and social injustices in pursuit of their personal and professional goals and aspirations. Reference: Bradley, L., Whiting, P., & Hendricks, B. (2008). The use of expressive techniques in counseling. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 3(1), 44-59.
by K. Bledsoe
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Born This Way 0 V. Maneev Born This Way Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed: Webster, K., Burt, J., Goldschien, G., Korkolan, L., Lane, J., Murray, J. (Producers),…& Hennessey, B. (Executive Producer). (2015). Born this way [Television Series]. United States: A&E Network. Reviewer: Victoria Maneev Genre: Documentary, Reality TV Movies/TV Shows: TV Show Suggested Age Range: Everyone, Parental Guidance Subject Headings: Multicultural/cross-cultural issues, Relationships Review: The first episode of Born This Way aired on the A&E Television Station in December 2015. This documentary series features seven young adults born with Down syndrome. The series follows Elena, Megan, Steven, Sean, Rachel, Cristina, and John as they navigate through life. The show details their trials and tribulations while providing educational moments that are invaluable to viewers. The show unravels many topics that show the complexities and raw emotions of the characters. According to A&E’s description “Throughout the series, they pursue their passions and lifelong dreams, explore friendships, romantic relationships and work, all while defying society’s expectations” (A&E). The show also shares the perspective of the parents. The parents share the joys and challenges experienced while raising a child born with Down syndrome. Among the topics discussed are: independence, romantic relationships, career, family, and dealing with a wide range of emotions. As an individual in the rehabilitation counseling discipline, I was initially skeptical about the show. I thought that the producers of the show would exploit or make fun of individuals with Down syndrome. Instead, the show’s level of authenticity defied my expectations. It illustrated how individualistic the diagnosis of Down syndrome can be. The show is well done, funny, heartwarming, sad, genuine, and authentic. I would highly recommend it to both counselors and counselor-educators. This show can help counselors in practice to better understand individuals with Down syndrome. It can also be utilized by counselor educators when teaching about various disabilities in the classroom setting. Additionally, counselor-educators can explore psychosocial aspects of Down syndrome with their students.  
by V. Maneev
Monday, February 20, 2017
​In Treatment 0 K. Wereszczynska In Treatment Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed: Garcia, R., Levi, H., Ori, S., & Bergman, N. (Writers). (2008). In treatment [Television Series]. Los Angeles, CA: Home Box Office, Inc. Reviewer: Kasia Wereszczynska Genre: Drama Movies/TV Shows: TV Show Suggested Age Range: Adults Only Subject Headings: Alternative Therapies, Anger, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, Body Image, Career Counseling, Codependency, Depression, Divorce, Eating Disorders, Grief & Loss, Heath/Wellness, Multicultural/Cross-Cultural Issues, Personality Disorders, PTSD, Racial Ethnic Identity, Relationships, Self-injurious Behavior, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Substance Abuse, Spiritual Journey, Social Justice, Trauma Violence-assault, Violence-domestic Review: As counselors, we have an obligation to serve our clients to the best of our capacity, which includes being knowledgeable of best practices (American Counseling Association, 2014). As such, counselors in training routinely undergo thousands of hours of supervision across various mediums. With improved technology, the field has begun to rely more on video and audio-recorded sessions as well as educational videos. These videos, in particular, have become ever more effective toward teaching counselors in training necessary microskills to help them develop into effective professionals. Although a dramatization, the television show In Treatment provides a realistic portrayal of clinical sessions in the span of 30 minutes. This Home Box Office (HBO) original television series features psychologist Dr. Paul Weston. Each episode depicts a single session and continues to follow clients in succession. Like most counselors, Dr. Weston works with a diverse range of clients by way of demographics and presenting issues and concerns. Throughout the sessions, Dr. Weston demonstrates a diversity of approach, ranging from CBT to person-centered to reality-based approaches. Of particular importance to the counselor-in-training is seeing how an integrated approached specific to each client is necessary for successful therapeutic outcomes. As he works through these issues, counselors bear witness to how even the most experienced professionals must continue to not only look within themselves, but also seek outside support to maintain a professional relationship. Thus, the program is educational, as well as entertaining, leaving counselors with their own clinical considerations to ponder.  
by K. Wereszczynska
Monday, February 20, 2017
Yelling to the Sky 0 V. May Yelling to the SkyMovie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Mahoney, V., Mulligan, B., Dickersin, G., & Houslin, D. (Producers), & Mahoney, V. (Director). (2011). Yelling to the sky [Motion picture]. United States: MPI Media Group & Front Row Film Entertainment.Reviewer:Simone MayGenre:DramaMovies/TV Shows:MovieSuggested Age Range:Teenager (13+)Subject Headings:Anger, Depression, Family dynamics, Grief & loss, High school, Multicultural/cross-cultural issues, Poverty-urban, Relationships, Self-injurious behavior, Substance abuse-alcohol, Substance abuse-drugs, Trauma, Violence-domesticReview:"Yelling to the Sky" is a 2011 American drama written and directed by Victoria Mahoney. The movie depicts the lives of two biracial female siblings struggling to survive in an unstable environment. Sweetness, the younger sibling, is bullied, stands as a victim and witness to her alcoholic father’s abuse towards her mentally ill mother, and is a witness to the murder of her friend Roland. Sweetness’ life spirals downward as she adopts the role of a fearless, apathetic, and rebellious teenager who is seeking to find solace through maladaptive behaviors. As the film concludes, Sweetness turns a new leaf. She develops a new heart and a new attitude, choosing to reconcile differences with her bully and her father, alter her social circle, and attend college."Yelling to the Sky" offers a storyline fitting for individual and group counseling. “Yelling to the Sky” displays the harmful effects of unhealthy behaviors such as bullying, violence, drug activity, gang involvement, impulsivity, and unhealthy decision-making. The film also shows the power of resilience, love, support, forgiveness, and reconciliation. An individual or group who watches “Yelling to the Sky” will explore grief and loss, whether it involves the physical, mental, or emotional loss of a friend or loved one, the importance of building healthy relationships, the ability to regain strength after an abusive relationship, and the power of redefining oneself and his/her destiny. “Yelling to the Sky,” offers a realistic view of struggle and success. 
by V. May
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Inside Out 0 A. Fifield Inside OutMovie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Lasseter, J. (Executive Producer), Docter, P., & Del Carmen, R. (Co-Directors). (2015). Inside out [Motion picture]. United States: Pixar Animation Studios.Reviewer:Andrea FifieldGenre:AnimatedMovies/TV Shows:MovieSuggested Age Range:EveryoneSubject Headings:Anger, Communication, Depression, Female lifespan development, Family dynamics, Grief & loss, Heath/Wellness, RelationshipsReview:Inside Out cleverly portrays the basic emotions of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust as beings that live inside 11 year old Riley’s mind and regulate her emotional experience. Riley is forced to move to San Francisco with her family and experiences emotional strain as her inner beings wrestle with how to interpret her new situation (IMDb, 2016).  As Riley is faced with more challenges, she experiences other, more painful emotions, culminating in a crisis when Riley decides to run away. Ultimately, Riley learns the value of feeling/expressing ALL emotions as a way to fully experience the world, to signal when something is wrong, and to ask for help.This movie is useful for any client (who appreciates animated films) who has difficulty expressing emotions, or who has been taught to believe that one should only express "positive” emotions. Similarly, the film would be a great basis for debate in a counselor education course, where students can debate the role of emotions, thoughts, and environment/ecosystem in a person’s life, and in the counseling process. Processing of the movie would be critical, however, to ensure that clients/students do understand the lessons revealed by the end of the movie, namely, that all emotions serve a purpose, and that appropriate expression of emotions is a good thing.Reference: IMDb (2016). Inside out: Plot summary. Retrieved from
by A. Fifield
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Fried Green Tomatoes 0 E. Bond Fried Green TomatoesMovie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Avnet, J. (Producer and Director), & Kerner, J. (Producer). (1991). Fried green tomatoes [Motion picture]. United States: Universal Pictures.Reviewer:Emily BondGenre:DramaMovies/TV Shows:MovieSuggested Age Range:TeenSubject Headings:Aging, Female lifespan development, Grief & loss, Racial/ethnic politics, Relationships, Social justice, Violence-domesticReview:This film is based upon the novel "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" written by Fannie Flagg. It simultaneously tells two stories of dynamic female friendship, strength, and resilience. The present story revolves around Evelyn, a middle-aged housewife from Alabama attempting to transition from empty nest into a new career and a more fulfilling relationship with her husband. Evelyn meets Ninny, a local nursing home resident. These two women from different times and worlds become fast friends as Ninny begins telling Evelyn stories of Idgy and Ruth, two women from the south who owned a successful café and maneuvered through trials and tribulations of their own time and lives. Evelyn is ultimately inspired and motivated to begin making changes within her own life.Throughout the movie, many themes are identifiable that can be useful for counselors with a variety of clients including: re-writing stories/narratives, feminism, multi-cultural issues, spirituality, and grief and loss. The most profound themes are resilience and the strength that can come as a result of the support of friendship, love, and connection. I believe this film has the potential to be particularly powerful, useful, and effective with female clients. It is applicable to an array of life and transitional experiences and issues particularly during life stages and transitions occurring from adolescence through older adulthood. There are issues that come up in the film surrounding segregation and racism as well as domestic violence amongst other obstacles and challenges faced by both sets of women in both stories and times.  
by E. Bond
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
This Is Where I Leave You 0 H. Duke This Is Where I Leave YouMovie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Levy, S. (Producer/Director), Weinstein, P., & Levine, J. (Producers). (2014). This is where I leave you. [Motion picture]. United States: Spring Creek Productions.Reviewer:Heather DukeGenre:DramaMovies/TV Shows:MovieSuggested Age Range:Adults OnlySubject Headings:Communication, Divorce, Family dynamicsReview:The focal point of this movie is geared towards the ups and downs the Altman siblings encounter in their personal lives and unwittingly demonstrates the power of sibling bonding and rivalry. The Altman siblings are classified as disengaged due to their lack of communication with each other. Their mother Hilary Altman knows that her adult children need to reunite and grieve the recent loss of their father. They are reluctant about reuniting because they feel ashamed of their personal life choices. Deep down inside, their mother feels they need one another especially since the passing of their father. She decided to plan a shiva. This ceremony is a Jewish tradition that honors the passing of loved ones. Family and friends reunite for seven days to share stories and have a feast.This movie can be utilized as part of counseling practices when assisting adult clients with certain family issues such as hierarchy structure, loss of a parent, gender issues, and the power of sibling bonding and rivalry. The shiva ceremony hinges upon the Narrative Model because of its storytelling component. If clients can observe how the Altmans handle their grief through humor and storytelling, they may begin to share and heal the grief they are currently experiencing that pertains to their loss of a loved one. Additionally, this movie can assist professors who teach family counseling courses because it focuses on family systems, specifically sibling subsystems. Use of this movie to address grief and family issues is not appropriate with some clients and should be used with caution. 
by H. Duke
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Groundhog Day 0 C. McNaught Groundhog DayMovie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Ramis, H., Albert, T., Rubin, D., Murray, B., MacDowell, A., Elliott, C., Tobolowsky, S., ... Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (Firm). (2002). Groundhog Day. Culver City, CA: Columbia TriStar Home Video.Reviewers:Chris McNaught & Philip ClarkeGenre:ComedyMovies/TV Shows:MovieSuggested Age Range:Parental GuidanceSubject Headings:Anger, Depression, Grief & lossReview:Groundhog Day is about living the same day, over and over. Phil (Bill Murray) is a weatherman sent to Punxsutawney for the fourth consecutive year to cover the annual groundhog festival. After doing a barely acceptable job as a reporter, he is ready to go home, but instead is stopped by a snowstorm. When he wakes up the second morning, and every morning after that, he is forced to experience Groundhog Day. Understanding that he can do anything without repercussions, Phil engages in unhealthy activities. After learning some valuable life lessons and the importance of being genuine, Phil is finally allowed to progress to the day after Groundhog Day (IMDb, 2016).On the surface, Groundhog Day seems like a simple comedy with a simple plot and message. It is, however, a deeply philosophical movie centered around the process of grief and loss. Through the timeline of the movie, Phil moves through the five stages of grief as outlined by Kübler-Ross in 1969. From a logotherapy perspective, Phil creates meaning in his life. This film could be useful for counselors learning about grief and loss stages and existential struggles. Keep in mind that the movie does portray multiple suicide attempts. As always, use your judgment to determine if this film might help or hinder your learning process as a counselor or counselor-in-training.Reference: IMDb (2016). Groundhog day: Plot summary. Retrieved from
by C. McNaught
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Transparent 0 C. Chan TransparentMovie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Soloway, J. (Producer). (2015). Transparent [Television series]. Los Angeles, CA: Amazon Studios.Reviewer:Christian ChanGenre:Comedy DramaMovies/TV Shows:TV ShowSuggested Age Range:Adults OnlySubject Headings:Aging, Body image, Family dynamics, GLBT issues, Grief & loss, Multicultural/cross-cultural issues, Relationships, SexualityReview:This Amazon on-demand television series features the developmental journey of a transgender woman, the challenges in coming out, and the resulting effects on family members and relationships after disclosing the transition. The word transgender refers to a person who identifies with a different gender than the gender assigned at birth. Previously, she had attempted to live to society’s standards as a man, where she dressed in men’s clothing and married a cisgender woman (an individual who identifies with the same gender assigned at birth). However, she struggled with this identity throughout her life. After intentionally and accidentally disclosing to her children and previous partner, she is forced to negotiate how to live openly and how to communicate her identity to others. The series also provides context on the development of other characters, including the eldest daughter who leaves her male partner to be with a woman and the other two siblings learning how to live with their father identifying as a transgender woman. Counselors will find the series valuable in thinking critically about transgender issues, how both relationships and family alter due to the coming out and transition processes, and the loss associated with changes in identity. The series also exemplifies the dark reality that exists both for individuals in the transgender population and the family members' perceptions of transgender identity meaning-making. The series highlights important sociocultural aspects in identity development, queer and transgender issues, intimate relationships, and family systems, which are all relevant topics for counseling practice and counselor education.
by C. Chan
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
One Tree Hill – “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept” 1 R. Danner As a big One Tree Hill fan, I couldn’t agree more with this review as it highlights the importance of a counselor’s role in helping others with suicidal thoughts and actions, grief, bullying, etc. As you mentioned, it is important for school counselors to know the signs and symptoms of things such as suicide to, as you said, “intercede before any violent behaviors could take place.” While I find this very important, I would also like to point out the role of the school counselors in helping educate and communicate with other students. Much of the episode and episodes to follow included a character named Mouth, who used to be Jimmy’s best friend. Mouth spends a lot of time trying to understand what happened, when Jimmy became so depressed and isolated, and how come he didn’t notice any of this. In addition to recognizing the signs themselves, school counselors should also be helping teach other students to be able to identify these signs in others, to prevent future violence or seek help for a friend in need. Counselors should not only help students like Mouth process these events after the fact, but also help educate students about signs of someone in need of help before an event like this can even occur.
by A. Lessard
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Anger Management 2 N. Thomas You are welcome for the resource. I think seasons one and two will be most useful to address Tuckman's theory.
by N. Thomas
Monday, March 9, 2015
The Laramie Project 1 A. Craft Thanks Amanda. This looks like a great resource!
by C. Wolf
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Calendar Girls 0 H. Dehner Calendar GirlsMovie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Mackie, S. (Producer), Barton, N. (Producer), & Cole, N. (Director). (2003). Calendar girls [Motion picture]. Burbank, CA: Touchstone Pictures.Reviewer:Holly DehnerGenre:ComedyMovies/TV Shows:MovieSuggested Age Range:Adults OnlySubject Headings:Aging, Body image, Communication, Grief & loss, RelationshipsReview:This film is a series of vignettes that tell the story of one woman's efforts to find a suitable way to provide a memorial for her best friend's deceased husband. A chance comment by the dying man, that "in her last bloom, a woman is at her most glorious”, combined with the lead character's mixed emotions about her own aging and her son's coming of age, leads to a controversial proposal to spice up the annual calendar by posing in the nude. The movie follows the process and personal repercussions as one by one, twelve women choose to challenge local conventions and join the project. Although this movie was marketed as a comedy, the individual challenges faced by each woman are excellent discussion starters and are especially relevant as this movie is based on an actual event. Topics available for exploration include how women communicate with each other and their partners, societal expectations, coping with lost relationships through death or divorce, risk taking, and the connections between body image and aging. The focus of this film is from a woman's point of view but can be used effectively with individuals or in couples counseling. 
by H. Dehner
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Intervention 0 M. Glowiak InterventionMovie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Benz, G. R., Branton, M., Weaver, J. L., Fleury, L., & Wagman, J. (Executive Producers). (2005). Intervention [Television series]. New York: A&E.Reviewer:Matthew GlowiakGenre:Reality TVMovies/TV Shows:TV ShowSuggested Age Range:Adults OnlySubject Headings:Anxiety disorders, Body image, Codependency, Self-injurious behavior, Substance abuse-alcohol, Substance abuse-drugsReview:The Emmy Award winning series Intervention depicts the atrocities experienced by those suffering from substance use and other compulsion disorders. Disorders depicted on the show have included: substance use disorders (e.g., alcohol, amphetamines, inhalants, opioids); eating disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa); and other compulsions (e.g., exercise, gambling, plastic surgery, self-injurious behaviors, sex, video games). Most episodes follow the stories of two individuals at risk of losing everything: family, friends, children, jobs, assets, et cetera. Subjects believe they are only being filmed for a documentary but are surprised with an intervention. Loved ones alongside a professional interventionist confront the individual--offering the choice of a 90-day rehabilitation program or being left to face the addiction independently. Intervention depicts real cases of real people experiencing rock bottom. It is important for counselors to understand the level of severity inherent in these disorders and recognize how they defy demographics--affecting anybody at any time. Counselors who might otherwise not suspect these disorders may be prompted to ask more questions and diagnose more carefully. One must caution that sensationalizing of addiction seen on the show may cause counselors to stereotype that addictive disorders are only like what they see on the show. Intervention is an extremely powerful show that might evoke some powerful emotions. Counselors may even find themselves relating to the family members or friends of the individuals suffering from these disorders, or the individuals themselves. Intervention is intended for mature audiences. Note: Lifetime Movie Network will host its 14th season in 2015.
by M. Glowiak
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 0 C. Lien Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Fear and Loathing in Las VegasReviewer:Craig LienGenre:DramaMovies/TV Shows:MovieSuggested Age Range:Adults OnlyAge Range Explained:Rated R; strong language, heavy drug use, some violence, brief depiction of nuditySubject Headings:Substance abuse-alcohol, Substance abuse-drugsReview:Based on a novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson, the film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" follows the drug-induced trip of Raoul Duke, a journalist, and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo. Armed with a suitcase full of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, mescaline, LSD, a steady supply of alcohol and continuous use of cigarettes, the companions unabashedly take Las Vegas by storm in search of the American Dream, while commenting on the failure of the 1960's counterculture. The film pulls the viewer deeper and deeper into the surreal haze caused by the mixture of drugs Duke and Dr. Gonzo binge on until nothing makes any sense. The end comes suddenly and the fantasy is over, but the reminiscence of the power of the 1960's zeitgeist continues. This film gives the practicing counselor a view into the experience of drug use through the effects on the mind and body. It seeks to portray the blending of reality and fantastical perceptions caused by drug use, both welcome and unwelcome. There are several subjective descriptions of the effects of drugs on a person, including mescaline and LSD, through introspective narratives and meta-cognitions. The film shows how a person under the influence of drugs appears to people who are sober, the power of suggestion on the mind, paranoia, erratic behavior (violence), and an overarching dissociation caused by drug use. It is a strange and sometimes frightening ride, but, if the viewer can stay with the protagonists, is well worth watching.Originally posted on 1/21/2013
by C. Lien
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Requiem for a Dream 0 A. Cappello Requiem for a Dream Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Requiem for a DreamReviewer:Afton Cappello and Philip ClarkeGenre:DramaMovies/TV Shows:Movie Suggested Age Range:Adults Only Age Range Explained:Profanity, Violence, Graphic Drug Use Subject Headings:Crime, Relationships, Substance abuse-alcohol, Substance abuse-drugsReview:Requiem for a Dream is set in Coney Island, NY and follows the lives of four people each entangled in their own world of addiction. The cast includes Harry, a young adult addicted to heroin and cocaine, his mother who is obsessed with TV and addicted to diet pills, Harry’s girlfriend Marion, and his best friend Tyrone who are also both addicted to cocaine. Harry and Tyrone are both eventually arrested and put in jail. Marion is back in New York and begins to withdrawal. Meanwhile, Harry’s mother begins to fall apart physically and mentally from the diet pills she is taking. She eventually ends up committed to a psychiatric hospital. Each character ends up alone and distraught which paints a picture of the detrimental outcomes of addiction. This movie can be used to help counselors understand the multiple life shattering effects of addiction. Harry and Marion are portrayed as a couple who are in love with one another. Their love is eventually destroyed when Harry allows Marion to perform sexual acts in order to obtain drugs.  This part of the movie would be a good resource to educate counselors working with couples who both are struggling with addiction. Counselors can learn from the story of the mother regarding how to help clients gain insight on the dangers of diet pill addiction and the negative consequences it can have on your body and mind. The movie as a whole teaches counselors about the harmful physical, emotional and relational effects of addiction.Originally posted on 8/22/2012
by A. Cappello
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Blow 0 A. Stokes Blow Reviewer:Allison Stokes Genre:Drama Movies/TV Shows:Movie Suggested Age Range:Adult Age Range Explained:Drug use and some sexual moments Subject Headings:Substance abuse-drugs Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Blow Review:Plot Summary: Blow, made in 2001, is a movie that tracks the life of Carl Jung who was a famous drug dealer in the 70s. Carl grew up in a family that struggled financially and vowed to himself that when he grew up he would not experience the same misfortune. Jung first became introduced to marijuana as a young man in his twenties when he moved to California. When Jung gets caught selling marijuana he gets sent to prison, and this is where he is first introduced to the benefits of cocaine. When Jung is released from prison he dives head first into the cocaine market, making millions of dollars with each deal. His life revolves around both using and selling cocaine, and Jung finds other parts of his life begin falling apart because of his involvement with drugs. Review: As a counselor it is interesting to watch this movie because it illustrates the life of a dealer, both the good and bad. It shows the financial piece of dealing, but it also clearly shows how Jung’s life began to fall apart because of the choices he made. An intersecting aspect of the movie to examine is how the time Jung spent in prison actually had a negative impact on him and introduced him to a much more dangerous drug. Blow also demonstrates the strain drug use has on personal relationships, and in the case of Carl Jung, he lost the close relationship with his daughter he once had. Blow also depicts the progression of drug use, and how easy it is to slip further and further in a world of drugs.Originally posted on 8/19/2012 at
by A. Stokes
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Prozac Nation 0 S. Lockaby Prozac Nation Movie/TV Show Being Reviewed:Prozac Nation Reviewer:Sharon Lockaby and Philip Clarke Genre:Drama Movies/TV Shows:Movie Suggested Age Range:Adults Only Age Range Explained:It is Rated R Subject Headings:College, Depression, Divorce, Family dynamics, Mental disorder Review:Prozac Nation is a movie based on Elizabeth Wurtzel's autobiographical book that documents her struggle with drugs, alcohol, and depression while she is at Harvard for journalism. Lizzie is a teenager raised by her divorced mother, but struggles with feelings surrounding her relationship with her father. She felt very different from everyone in her world until she meets her freshman roommate Ruby. Within her first year she loses her virginity and is awarded a great honor from Rolling Stone. She quickly begins a downward spiral and begins to abuse alcohol and drugs. Falling deeper into her depression, Lizzie’s anger and misery escalate and she lashes out at all the important people in her life. Lizzie gets psychiatric help and after a long period in treatment under medication and a suicide attempt, Lizzie begins to stabilize. Prozac Nation gives a very personal story and view to how complex and messy depression can become. This movie also lets the audience in on many of the thought processes of young adults dealing with drugs, relationships, and therapy. For counselors, this movie gives insight into the college age mind. There is also much knowledge to be gained around the role that Lizzie allows therapy be in her life. Lizzie’s struggles with counseling show how much effort it took for her to understand her therapy and how she slowly became better following these insights.Originally posted on 8/19/2012 at
by S. Lockaby
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
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